Tiger Woods joined fellow American Jack Nicklaus and Britain's Nick Faldo as the only players to ever successfully defend a championship at the Masters, as he posted a total score of 12-under-par and won by three over South Africa's Retief Goosen.
"With Retief struggling, and Vijay and Phil not really playing as good as they wanted to, on the back nine, they made a few mistakes, I just kept plugging along and kept trying to plot my way along the golf course," said Woods, analyzing his victory. "I wasn't hitting the ball as precisely as I wanted to, but I just stayed away from trouble and from the big numbers."
Woods, 26, has now won seven major championships. He came away from the win with a sense of his own place in the game's history.
"When you leave the game, what you do as a player, you want to leave the game better than what you came into it," he said. "And, hopefully, I can do that. That's what Arnold [Palmer] did throughout his golfing career, throughout his Master competitive career. And you know, hopefully, when it's all said and done in my career, you know, I can say the same thing."
Phil Mickelson finished third, four shots back. Spain's Jose Maria Olazabal, a two-time Masters winner, was alone in fourth, five off the pace, while Ireland's Padraig Harrington, tied for fifth place with South Africa's Ernie Els.